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Mobile Data Collection toolbox

8.2.1 Deploying your form


Throughout the process of creation/modification of your form online (or when you have uploaded your XLSForm), the form will remain as a “Draft version”. This means that the form is not made public and visible on the server from the smartphone/tablet yet.

In order to make it public and visible, click on “Deploy”. The server will then let you know that the form is thus deployed, that the one you are visualizing is the “Current version” and it’s version number (v1/v2 etc.). From now on, the deploy button has become “Redeploy” as the following deployments would actually be redeployments.

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Types of submission

Following your project’s deployment, you will find a list of the available types of submissions on the “Form” tab, under “Collect data”.

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Here is a list of the available types of submissions:

Type Use case Mobile-compatible Webform-compatible
Online-offline (multiple submissions) This allows online and offline submissions and is the recommended option for data collections occurring in the field for which you may also want to use the webform (form that can be filled in online with your browser) to collect data. Yes Yes
Online-only (multiple submissions) This allows only online submissions through webform and is the recommended option for any data collection where the interviewee is not physically accessible, but has good internet connection.This is also the best option when entering many records at once on a computer, e.g. for transcribing paper records. No Yes
Offline (multiple submissions) Makes the form visible for upload to any smartphone/tablet that connects itself to the server. Yes Yes to some extent
Embeddable web form code This allows online submissions through webform that can be put as a link with smaller margins on another website. Use this html5 code snippet (small part of a programming source-code) to integrate your form on your own website using smaller margins. No Yes
View only This doesn’t allow any submissions, but can be useful for testing and getting feedback. Same function as the “Preview” function on KoBoToolbox, but for third-party as a link to the survey can be sent to them and with more in-depth testing than the “Preview” function on which not all types of codification work. No Yes
Android application Use this option to collect data in the field with your Android device. Same possibilities as the offline (multiple submissions) on the mobile devices, but with the exception that Enketo, and thus online viewing, testing and submitting, does not work. Yes No

Online (multiple submissions): a link with possibility of multiple submissions for the survey is generated by the server and can be sent to any individual having access to an Internet connection. Click on “Copy” in order to copy this link or “Open” if you wish to open the link on your own browser. Be aware that the link does not expire and the same link can be used to do an infinite amount of submissions.

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How to limit submission to your form

When you deploy your project, submissions acceptation is automatically switched on. If for any reason you wish to switch the submissions acceptation back off, you can go to “Settings”, “General” and click on “Archive project”. Consequently, the smartphone/tablet or any person in possession of the online-submission link will not be able to submit data anymore.

Please refer to “Tdh MDC Data sharing” tutorial for further information on Tdh MDC Data sharing rules DATA PROT

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Preparing mobile devices with ODK Collect

Warning: Before following the following instructions, make sure you have read and completed steps a. and b. in section 4.1.4 Tool focus - ODK Collect - iv. App Maintenance.

Download the form on the mobile device

Once ODK Collect “knows” where to find the forms and to send the data, you must add the form(s) you will use on the phone. There are different ways to load blank form that are explained here, but the simplest is to load them directly from the server you just connect to ODK Collect. To do this:

  • Ensure that the phone is connected to the internet (through WIFI or SIM card with data)
  • On ODK Collect’s main menu, choose “Get Blank Form”:

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  • After a moment, a list of forms available on your account will appear. Those correspond to the deployed Projects under the ‘Project’ page of the KoBoToolbox Account. Choose the one(s) you need. Simply tick the ones that are needed, and then “Get Selected”:

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  • A message will confirm you that the download was successful, listing all the forms you just downloaded:

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  • If you get an error message when trying to visualize the list of forms (or else you cannot view the list at all):
    • Check if you have entered the right URL. This is most often the problem
    • Check that your phone is actually connected to the internet
    • Make sure that you did add your form to your KoBoToolbox Account, that it was accepted and deployed.
    • You can also tap “Refresh” to tell ODK Collect to retry a connection.

Sending form data from mobile device to server

Once you have finalized (and saved) one or several surveys on a given mobile device, you can upload the collected data on the KoBoToolbox account. If you have already entered the URL, then you only need to go to “Send Finalized Forms” on the main screen and choose the submissions to send, here is a tutorial to do it. The forms you have selected will automatically be submitted to the server.

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If this does not work:

  • Make sure that your internet connection is working
  • Check that the right survey form (with the same ID) is available on your KoBoToolbox account.